Alec Baldwin revealed that he gets paid just $1,400 for each appearance he makes as President-elect Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live.”
That’s just part of what the New York Times learned when it spent time with Baldwin backstage at the NBC sketch show recently.
The salary would seem low for all the attention Baldwin’s Trump impression has brought to the show, including frequent angry mentions by the president-elect himself. But it seems the hard work is behind Baldwin.
Baldwin watched hours of Trump rallies and campaign appearances to perfect the president-elect’s physicality, especially his speech patterns, lip pursing, and hand movements ahead of the impersonation’s October 1 debut on the show.
According to the article, it takes just seven minutes to transform Baldwin into Trump now:
“A dusting of Clinique Stay-Matte powder in honey. A hand-stitched wig. Eyebrows glued up into tiny peaks. The rest is left to Alec Baldwin: the puckered lips, a studied lumbering gait and a wariness of humanizing a man he reviles.”
“SNL” hair designer, Jodi Mancuso, told the New York Times that the wig “helps him transform instantly. The minute it goes on with the makeup, it’s like, ‘Oh, I get it.'”
The actor admits that both he and the show underestimated Trump. “SNL,” alongside many others, was caught off-guard by his election win. It had planned for at least four more years of Kate McKinnon’s spot-on Clinton impersonation. But since the election, McKinnon has seamlessly transitioned to playing Trump’s senior adviser, Kellyanne Conway. And Baldwin didn’t foresee that Trump would continue to provide material.
Now, the former “30 Rock” actor sees the impersonation going on indefinitely and potentially moving it beyond the weekly NBC sketch show. Future appearances on “SNL,” though, may become more infrequent as Baldwin is about to start filming two movies. He also worries that the impersonation may get old with viewers.